‘Or Avner’ Graduate Killed in Violent Protest in Kazakhstan

Sad news from Almaty: 22-year-old Lev Kogeashvili OBM, a member of the Jewish community and graduate of FJC’s ‘Or Avner’ Jewish school in Almaty and its youth program, was shot dead on Friday while sitting in his car on the way to work. Lev, who married two years ago and was a father to an eight-month-old baby, spent his time between Israel and Kazakhstan and wasn’t involved in the protests in any way.

According to news outlets, Lev who was also an Israeli national, was killed by gunfire on Friday while sitting in his car on the way to work during the worst violent protests ever experienced in the Central Asian country, formerly part of the Soviet Union until its independence in the early 1990s.

“Suddenly there was the sound of gunfire and he was hit by two bullets,” said Rostislav Edelstein, a friend of the family who lives in Ashdod to the Times of Israel. “They took him to hospital and tried to save him but had no choice but to declare him dead. Two other people with him were lightly wounded.”

“As a vibrant and lively child, Lev studied at our Jewish school, and excelled in his studies,” Says Rabbi Shevech Zlatapolski from the Jewish community of Almaty. “Later on, as he matured, he began participating at the STARS learning program for Jewish students together with his future wife. Two years ago they married in an emotional Chuppah here in Kazakhstan, and only eight months passed since they embrace their first-born son, now sadly and very unfortunately, their one and only son.”

“Lev was a very warm and beloved person. He attended our services on holidays and other occasions and made sure his family stayed close to the community. His loss has devastated all of us,” he concluded.

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